The long weekend ahead is to mark Memorial Day. Look online, though, and there are websites that say, “Happy Memorial Day – save 20% on all mattresses … 35% off patio furniture…” Or, “50% off shoes, loungewear and apparel” … and, “Take 15 percent off sitewide using the code CHILLOUT.”

Let’s take a step back to reverentially mark something special.

It is pretty amazing to be able to engage in our freedoms, our economic and social system, and have our ability to make so many life choices.

Choices above and beyond the essentials, too. Making a choice to have the first beach trip of the summer, take on a big yard project, or trade-in that old car for a holiday deal —  indulgences many enjoy.

Since this is an energy organization, consider how the luxury of energy figures into our society. With a US population of more than 332 million, 60,000 people do not have electricity in their homes, never connected to the grid. Small number. Quite an achievement. Three-quarters of American homes have two energy sources – power and gas.

We are fortunate, and we owe others for fighting on our behalf. While holiday plans are happening, ECC hopes that people will also take time to reflect on the deep importance of the day.

Memorial Day originally honored those lost fighting in the Civil War. During World War I the United States was in another major conflict and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars, now including World War IIThe Vietnam WarThe Korean War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Source)

Men and women gave everything to support the principles of our nation and its ability to evolve. Our nation was a radical concept when it began and started to change immediately. Take a few minutes and check the National Archives and the Bill of Rights.

This holiday weekend we hope our readers will pause, put out your flag, take a good long look at it. Take the hem of the flag between your fingertips and think about where the flag has been, who it has covered after they have given everything. Consider what has been given by others for our lives today.

  ***

Something else, too. The 140 flags pictured here were placed in front of the World War 1 Museum and Memorial to raise awareness of those men and women who served our nation and die from suicide. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs report that 140 of these people take their lives each week, one every 72 minutes. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder affects soldiers long after they leave the battlefield. As the agency notes, veterans or those who know a veteran at risk can call, 24/7, the VETERANS CRISIS LINE.